Nerve stimulation in Back Pain and in Neuralgia

These two guidelines from NICE look at nerve stimulation done in novel ways. You may see patients starting to have this, so it's worth knowing about.

The first guideline looks at Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation (PNFS) for low back pain. Here electrodes are inserted subcutaneously under local anaesthetic and then an implantable stimulator.

The second guideline looks at Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS) where temporary electrodes are used for stimulation in areas of pain. This is used for neuralgia.

In both cases the research is currently limited, though promising. Treatments should be done through multidisciplinary teams.

Louise Hudman

I'm a freelance GP locum in Winchester & Southampton.

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